How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

When you file for disability and have both Mental and Physical Conditions

An anonymous commenter recently stated that they had communicated with the disability examiner who was working on their case and that the examiner had advised that they were done with the physical part of the claim and were now working on the mental part of the claim. The commenter stated "if they had found me disabled physically then why would they waste time and money on the mental? I feel sure I am about to be denied".

My response: Anonymous, I would not worry about this too much. The disability examiner is obligated to pursue development on your case for both a mental disability as well as physical impairments. This is because they have no way of knowing whether or not you will be found to be disabled for either impairment. And even if you were considered to be disabled on the basis of BOTH your physical and mental impairments, it might be that the medical evidence for one or both impairments might support an earlier onset date that would provide for more back pay.

For example, let's pretend that your medical evidence for your physical condition meets the definition of disability and that you could expect to be approved on the basis of this alone. How far back you will be awarded disability benefits will depend on the available evidence for your physical condition.

Let's further speculate that your mental condition likewise meets the definition of disability. Well, if the medical evidence for the mental condition supports an even earlier onset date (when your condition is considered to have become disabling in the way that the social security administration considers a person to be disabled), then it would definitely be to your advantage to have the mental aspect of your case evaluated because the further back the onset date is, the more you can receive in disability back pay.

Additionally, if your case is for title II Social Security Disability benefits (versus title 16 SSI disability benefits), then having the earliest possible onset date for your claim can make a real difference as to when your eligibility for medicare benefits will begin.

In summation, it is completely to your advantage for the disability examiner to fully develop (another way of saying consider all the evidence) both the physical and mental aspects of your claim. This is for two reasons:

1. You may be found disabled for one type of impairment but not the other.

2. Even if you are found to be disabled for both the mental and physical aspects of your case, it may be that one of your impairments (mental or physical) has medical evidence that allows for an earlier and more advantageous onset date. And, as we've said, this can have an impact on how much back pay benefits you may receive as well as on how soon you can receive your medicare benefits (assuming you file for Social Security Disability--SSI applicants are not eligible for medicare but can receive medicaid instead).

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Can You Get Approved For SSI or SSD Benefits IF You Have A Mental Condition But Do Not Take Medication?
Will Your Claim for Disability be Handled Differently if it is Based on a Physical or Mental Problem?
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
The Social Security Disability and SSI Process for Mental Claims based on Mental Disorders
When you file for disability and have both Mental and Physical Conditions
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Are SSI and Social Security Disability Requirements Tougher For Mental Claims?
Social Security Disability, SSI, Mental Disorders, and Functional Limitations
Can you draw Social Security Disability on a spouse's Social Security earnings record?
If you apply for disability in Ohio
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Ohio?
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Ohio
How do you appeal your disability denial in Ohio?

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.